Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

Front Cover
Macmillan, Oct 25, 2011 - History - 384 pages
40 Reviews

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011
A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011

Bestselling author Tony Horwitz tells the electrifying tale of the daring insurrection that put America on the path to bloody war

Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. But few Americans know the true story of the men and women who launched a desperate strike at the slaveholding South. Now, Midnight Rising portrays Brown's uprising in vivid color, revealing a country on the brink of explosive conflict.

Brown, the descendant of New England Puritans, saw slavery as a sin against America's founding principles. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, and in 1859 he prepared for battle at a hideout in Maryland, joined by his teenage daughter, three of his sons, and a guerrilla band that included former slaves and a dashing spy. On October 17, the raiders seized Harpers Ferry, stunning the nation and prompting a counterattack led by Robert E. Lee. After Brown's capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South, which considered Brown a terrorist. The raid also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown's dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure he called "a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale."

Tony Horwitz's riveting book travels antebellum America to deliver both a taut historical drama and a telling portrait of a nation divided--a time that still resonates in ours.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
12
4 stars
23
3 stars
5
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - labdaddy4 - LibraryThing

Horowitz always has a way of making history easy to read and follow. His style of writing it in "story form" rather than a plodding, dry, and super dense compilation of dates, names, facts, and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Othemts - LibraryThing

Tony Horwitz, one of my favorite authors, presents a compelling history of John Brown and his followers and the keystone event of their raid on Harpers Ferry. Brown's life and family are discussed ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue October 16 1859
1
PART ONE THE ROAD TO HARPERS FERRY
7
PART TWO INTO AFRICA
95
PART THREE THEY WILL BROWN US ALL
189
Epilogue Immortal Raiders
272
Appendix
291
Authors Note
293
Notes
295
Selected Bibliography
341
Acknowledgments
345
Illustration Credits
348
Index
351
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Tony Horwitz is the bestselling author of Midnight Rising, A Voyage Long and Strange, Blue Latitudes, Confederates in the Attic, and Baghdad Without a Map. He is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has worked for The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. He lives in Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Geraldine Brooks, and their two sons.

Bibliographic information